Every now and then I fall for it. I get swept into existing in life outside of the now. My focus, my thoughts and my energy get drawn into living in the past and future. Not in a productive way, of the bare minimum time needed to be spent there to be able to learn from the past and to know what I want to spend my time and energy on in the coming future. Not in that way, but in the way that sucks me into the lifeless vacuum of non existence. It sucks me into over thinking, of wasting endless energy on storytelling mindless and unlikely stories that elaborate on pointless details. Whilst my mind is there my body is aimlessly moving through the motions of life neither here nor there. And it’s deceptively cunning because whilst the mind is ‘doing’ all this overthinking and storytelling it feels like I am busy and productive, but I am not. I am in a tailspin of illusionary thoughts, taking me nowhere. It’s a time warp of exhausting chaos.
And then thankfully, I wake up from this state. I realise that I have gone there and I come back to the here and now. I breathe, I settle, and I step out of the chaos. I feel back in my body, alive and present. The storytelling subsides and the non judgemental awareness returns. It’s like waking up after a bad dream, a relief that life is not the dream, a remembering that all is well.
I find that to be the irony of living in the now. The more I anchor my awareness into this moment the more the past and future are taken care of. Ironic isn’t it, and something that I easily forget in the moments that I have been swept into overthinking. In the moments that I contract into believing that more thinking about them will somehow control their outcome in a better way. In those overthinking moments I fail to notice that I have clouded my vision and become lost in a fog. And then I remind myself to stand still for a moment, to breathe. It is then that the clouds clear, my vision is clear, and life suddenly becomes alive.
It is so easy to get mentally drawn into the tailspin chaos of change and uncertainty. Overthinking all the might be or might not be possibilities is a trap that stops us living. Life is far more simple than we make it. Mindfulness reminds us of that, thankfully.